Menu Home

The Numbers Game

Well, this was bound to happen.

Following my last post about nostalgia, I was contacted by Andrew Voerman of who let me know he was working on a stats update for the NZFC using a copy of the ASB_Premiership_Media_Guide_Web_2011-12_v2 and Soccerway. I started digging and came up with the last issue of the ASB_Premiership_Media_Guide_2013-14, issued before the 2013-14 season began.

Boom. Data.

Here is the current list of NZFC centurions. Jake Butler and Aaron Scott could hit 200 appearances in the 2017/18 season.

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 7.02.09 PM

There are also four players who will be hitting the hundreds this season; Cory Chettleburgh (99), Emiliano Tade (94), Sean Lovemore (92) and Angel Berlanga (90) are all within striking distance, literally in the case of the first three, of making the list.

Speaking of strikers, those in bold are still playing in the NZFC, those in italics are playing elsewhere.


Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 7.30.28 PM

As you can see, both Emiliano Tade (94 games/61 goals) and Aaron Clapham (115 games/61 goals) have the chance to overtake the longstanding record set by Allan Pearce (144 games/70 goals), also passing the prodigious Keryn Jordan (69/62 goals) as they go. With the season upping its fixture list to 18 games, it’s also possible a return to his 2015/16 form could see Ryan De Vries climb the list as well.

Then there’s also the games per goal ratios. Only Allan Pearce, the record holder, scores every other game which is testament to his longevity up front. Meanwhile of the other centurions, credit must go to Aaron Clapham for scoring a goal just under every other game from midfield.

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 7.22.15 PM


But the big news here actually lies further down. Tom Jackson may not be troubling the top five at the moment, but it’s clear that the rate he is scoring goals at, it may not be long. He shares almost the same goals per game ratio as Keryn Jordan, widely regarded as the best striker the competition has ever seen. Certainly one to look out for this season

As the NZFC ticks into its fourteenth edition, this time under the weighty name of the ISPS Handa Premiership, keep an eye out for Jake Butler knocking off the big 200 and the race for the All Time Top Scorer record between Clapham and Tade.


Authors Note: I recognise that there may be errors in Soccerway’s records, and if you have any information which can improve the quality of this data – please get into the comments with it.

Categories: NZ Men's National League

Tagged as:

John Palethorpe

3 replies

  1. Thanks for your efforts to try and add a statistical context John. Great work.

    Having said that, it’s always been a source of frustration for me that when the NZ Football Championship was first introduced in late 2004, the game pretty much turned its back on the rich history of national league up until then, in a bid to put the new competition on some sort of artificial pedestal.

    2004 became treated as Year Zero, and the game entered an era of denial, pretending that the previous decades of national league never existed and we could only view statistics through the prism of this new competition. (To the extent that the words “National League” disappeared from the football lexicon for about three summers till club administrators realised it was all bit silly.)

    Thus when we use 2004 as a baseline, we do an unintended injustice to those players who peddled their wares in the preceding years, particularly in the early 2000s, when players crossed over from the Southern Trust (winter) national league.

    For instance, I know Adam Cowan did a full season with Manawatu in the Southern Trust national league in 2003, and those earlier appearances may well have already tipped him over 200 appearances.

    And I’d wager Graham Little has scored 100 national league goals when you add his efforts in 2001, 2002 and 2003. It wasn’t his fault the revamp came in the middle of his golden run.

    If someone had the time to go through all the old soccer annuals you’d probably find a well populated list of players who had made over 200 national league appearances from way back in the day.

    From my own back yard I’d certainly nominate Paul Gemmell from the 80s and 90s (with Waikato United and Manurewa) and definitely Mark Cossey (with Waikato, Mt Maunganui, Melville United etc.)

    From an even earlier era, off the top of my head I’d guess the likes of Auckland-based players Adrian Elrick, Johnny Morris, Clive Campbell, Tony Sibley, Steve Sumner.

    All that aside, top work.

    1. Hi Bruce,

      You are, of course, entirely correct. I’ve voluntarily submitted to the Year Zero theory of football, employed to great effect in England and elsewhere when the shiny new league starts up. I’m sure, or near to sure, that Barry has a full range of stats for the pre-2004 leagues or the paperwork you’d need to work them out.

      Even the NZFC is a little hazy in the early years, Soccerway doesn’t have a lot of statistics past 2010 which meant the media guides and Jeremy’s assiduous records were a great help.

      Thanks for the kind words though, I’ll look to add to the stats in future – there’s plenty of players in the low 60’s early 70’s appearance figures who’ve got a good few years left in them!

  2. Great article and always enjoy the read. As I understand it from Barry Smith Famous historian 3 players have scoreed over 100 National League goals. Keith Braithwaite Mark Armstrong and myself (was lucky to play in great teams). Good luck to the others knocking on the door. Noel Barkley.

%d bloggers like this: